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Author Topic: Fallen Hands of Fate - Chapter 1, The Aula Regis  (Read 562 times)

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Offline BalenTopic starter

Fallen Hands of Fate - Chapter 1, The Aula Regis
« on: October 29, 2010, 10:37:14 AM »
Nighttime, Deep in the countryside, England, 1400 AD

It is night, but then it is always night for those who know no other life. A walled off stone mansion sits below a pale moon, surrounding it a twisting black forest lines its stone magnificence. This English country home in day looks set apart from time, dark charcoal stone erects a distant beacon for those who live preserved from the passage of the ages, often standing alone but at this moment they are the very center of the world.

It is the Aula Regis, the meeting of the King’s Court. Long ago it was decided no one of us could rule alone, it was too much power in the hands of one individual, and turmoil was always the result. We keep the name for the court is now the King. Once every hundred the Elders gather, unless a matter of great urgency arises to bring them together, and when they do, they direct the fate openly of our bloodlines.

Today the mansion has many horses, carriages, escorts, guards and cloaked mercenaries flanking the doors. Some bring banners of nobility, others only a meager collection of those they trust. Inside a rich, gothic black décor greets all visitors. The furniture is seductive in its opulence, refined in its construction, and those inside treat the gathering with the utmost respect. Even the most powerful of the Actus Curiae, the Sovereignty, and the Emetua, each a collection of prestigious houses, do not bring their feuds here openly. However behind the veil of smiles and respectful bows of heads, nothing is ever as it seems, and no one is ever above the danger of losing all they have worked for or cling to.

***

We are Vampires, not a friendly storybook fantasy, but the terror under your bed that you grow up being told isn’t there. We are what waits for you when the last light goes out, and all hope drains from your eyes. Worst of all, we are your greatest seduction, because at the end of it all, you will think yourself blessed and stand in awe as you walk towards your blissful end. A voice whispers finishing the reading of his teachers written word. "William Bohun, my Sire and Mentor, may you find the eternal rest your enemies denied you in life."

Robert Bohun, Cenwulf to those who have known him through the generations, placed the parchment back on the shelf. Six hundred years he had lived, and through that time he had been taught by the best of us all. Last week his Master had been sent to the eternal darkness, ashes now in the ground. Robert was now the Elder, and his enemies might come for him next. A founding part of the Actus Curiae, the house of Bohun had birthed a violent history throughout the ages, behind the scenes as always, but they had many, many enemies to contend with because of it.

Wearing a dark black tunic, of the finest fabric money could buy, and fitted seamlessly to his body, he stood by the window. While he waited, the black haired, hazel eyed vampire stood watching the moon through cut in the wall. It was perhaps the only thing in this unlife that remained eternal. The grey herald of nature remained a part of him, ever since he was born into this life, it was the first thing he had seen to be true in both worlds, for there was no deception from the moon's luminance. As he aged, the grey of the moon began to match his skin more and more, even if he looked as young as the day he fell six hundred years ago, inside he carried the many scars the passing of the centuries had brought to his door.

It would soon be time to convene the Elders, and experience his first test as Master of house Bohun. Along oak floors, footsteps approached his room, and slowly his eyes turned to gaze upon the open doorway. He smirked to himself while he awaited the summons, six hundred years old, and today he would be the youngest at the table.

(ooc: Please read and apply in our OOC thread before posting, thank you. Those involved jump in and drive the story as and when you like. When we get going, if you are interested in developing a character long term by all means let me know as well.)

Offline BalenTopic starter

Re: Fallen Hands of Fate - Chapter 1, The Aula Regis
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2010, 07:33:32 PM »
“I can feel your eyes upon me. Speak what you have to say,” Robert said, allowing his balance to turn his feet, with seemingly no physical effort, he now faced the newcomer fully.

“Y...yess...S...Sir.“ The young servant was shaking, visibly upset, he took three steps towards her and lifted her chin. She was marked, tasted, this was unheard of at these gatherings where respect had to be maintained above all else.

“Who has marked you? I want their name.” Robert clicked his fingers and from the shadows, behind her one of his kin was now waiting. No part of this mansion was as it seemed. The girl hesitated and his hands moved to her cheek to calm her, his voice almost took on a hypnotic quality, consuming in its strength but gentle in its purpose. “There is nothing to fear, you have my word no harm will come to you now. However I must have the name so it stays that way.” Under his presence, she settled finally, leaning over and whispering in his ear softly.

Robert nodded to the woman, speaking to his kindred now, “take her and watch her. She is your responsibility until I relieve you, do not fail me in this.” His hazel orbs fell back to the women, they were at the point of completely concentration, piercing and moving to a silver-like steel quality. “You were sent to bring me to the elders?” The servant nodded in response. “Then you have done your service to them, wait for me to return after the matter is settled.”

Pulling his tunic about himself, he released his grip of her, never physical, but a hold had formed all the same. This matter would be settled after the meeting, or if the opportunity arose, during it, for he had no love for the name she had given him. Soon his walk took him below, gliding across the floor with precise but graceful steps.

Lit by orange candlelight, as he descended the stairs, the mahogany crafted, oval table, awaited him. Sat around the center of this imposing feature, were many elders, servants attending to them, and other vampires watching from the shadows. This would be a meeting of great importance. Every word had to be carefully chosen, for utmost control was paramount, in bearing, tone and intent. A mistake could cost everyone here dearly, and it would take his full focus to remain on top of the posturing sure to take place.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2010, 05:11:46 AM by Balen »

Offline BalenTopic starter

Re: Fallen Hands of Fate - Chapter 1, The Aula Regis
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2010, 01:42:04 PM »
Gliding down the final steps, Robert entered into a charismatically strong speech. “My fellow Lords and Ladies, gathered from near or far, I and house Bohun welcome you all to my home on this auspicious night.”

A few acknowledged with a nod of their heads, some of those seated merely stared silently at his approach. They considered him too young for such a position clearly, and it would be down to him to correct that misjudgment.

With a graceful turn of his hand, he bowed and sat down to join them, signaling the proceedings open. The dark lords and ladies present were from all ethnicities and walks of life, a small few wore expensive suits of armor but many were dressed in clothes of nobility. The Byzantine and Asian Elders were the most oddly dressed, but a vampire of Robert’s age had seen sights far grander, witnessed things stories only dared let others dream about.

The debate soon got into full swing. It was an odd thing to watch minds many hundreds of years old, posture and twist other’s words to their advantage. All were predators here, and all sort the weaknesses of the man or woman next to him. Much of the talk ranged around old feuds they had all heard a hundred times before, and how they should be limited or contained. Little ground was ever gained here, as people didn’t give up hatreds easily.

It was mid way through the many arguments one particularly ancient vampire stood to his feet, his skin was almost pure white, the life long gone from his black eyes, if it was ever there at all. He had been silent till now, with only one purpose in coming here.  “And what of the order of the Night Owl, will we sit here and not speak of them?”

The room went quiet. It was John Deville speaking, a man few words usually, and perhaps the oldest one here. “I see, so you are happy to speak of old arguments, things you should of all left behind centuries ago, but a new threat is at our very door and not a word.”

“They are humans, humans don’t matter.”  One Elder snapped in response from the corner of the room.

“How many of your kindred have they put to the stake in the last century, or yours, or yours?” John Deville looked around the room, making sure to challenge the eyes of any who dared contest him.

Robert saw this opportunity, it was a gamble but he could claim it as his own gamble, a method of advancing his own position, so he also stood and raised a hand forward. “Honored guests, hunters of our kind are becoming more sophisticated. We should make it a matter of course to return the favor. I pledge house Bohun will not rest until we know more about their order, than they know themselves.” He paused and waited to see their response, it was on a knife edge, would they dismiss him as an upstart or back his call. “Who is with me?”
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 01:43:58 PM by Balen »

Offline BalenTopic starter

Re: Fallen Hands of Fate - Chapter 1, The Aula Regis
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2010, 08:38:25 PM »
Silence, would non of these break the deadlock? Not even his allies would support him? He gave some of the room extremely cold stares, to show just exactly what he thought of a few of them. Two of the Actus Curiae, the vampire court, finally nodded caving to pressure, but it was a poor showing even from his own so called allies.

“House Deville will see it done.” The oldest of them all, John Deville, pledging himself was not quite enough to tip the tide in Robert's favor. Even if the latest pledge did increase the gravity of the silence, Robert needed something more. With this many of those gathered against the proposal, and the Elder of house Bohun now committed as he was by his word, they would use the opportunity to turn against him, while he spent his strength on chasing these humans.

He had been hasty in moving first, in six hundred years had he learned nothing? The elder couldn’t help it, it was in his blood to lead, his sire’s blood and long before he had become the creature of shadow that he was now. Wherever the action was, that was where he placed himself, facing trouble head on, so if this was fate's hand so be it.

“Do so few of you want this threat removed? Together we have a chance to crush it now, to see them driven before us. If wait, the tide pushing against will only grow,” Robert said, giving one last try to appeal to those around him. One more Elder raised a hand briefly signaling support, but it still left them massively short handed.

“You must have patience, young one, and well, if you are not strong enough on your own...” A mocking voice came from Roberts side, but he didn’t take the bait, he wasn’t that naïve. Instead he just granted a glance that could of cut through stone, silencing the heckling point blank, it wasn't a very tactful insult anyway.

The doors to the mansion were opened, and heralded by name at the door was a newcomer. One who the gathering had thought unable to attend. She was a strong figure, and her presence caused heads of lesser kindred to bow at the door in reverence, a reverence only caused by the rumor of her deeds. Fianna had arrived, and as the host Robert stood to bow respectfully, while those of lesser station ahead of him parted for her to approach.

"My lady, we had thought you unavailable, it is stirring to the blood to see you among us. Please sit, we are deciding the fate of the Night Owls and their hunters." Robert indicated to the only spare seat at the table, while a few Elders paid their respects, others glared icily at Fianna or were nonchalant, everyone here had friends, competitors and enemies from all quarters. It was likely she was already informed exactly what was going, but so not to cause offense, a vampire approached to whisper the details in her ear if she would allow it.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 08:46:18 PM by Balen »

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Re: Fallen Hands of Fate - Chapter 1, The Aula Regis
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2010, 06:44:13 AM »
The journey from her newest acqusition was longer than she had expected but it did not matter to her overly much, if she arrived late. This calling together of all the vampires at the House of Bohun was intruing to her but other matters had to be dealt with first. Vampires had many enemies after all and their own kind could be just as vicious as humans at times. Her entourage and guards rode with her, Fianna insisting as always to ride at the head leading the way instead of a paltry scout. She could well imagine the faces of those in attendence and grinned herself, some of her old enemies would be there but more importantly her strongest ally as well. The large gates to the mansion opened up to accept them and their horses and carriage were taken to the courtyard and stables. Bags brought inside by servants while others bustled about the newly arrived group.

Fianna one of the oldest vampires, sired by one of the original and ancient 'Siúlóirí na Lá' entered before her people moved with her. With a nod of her head she allowed her entourage and her guards, all but one, to be led by the servant to their quarters. Michael remained hovering close by, her personal guard now for almost four hundred years. She was announced as Fianna Cuan of the Ancient House of Cuan and she scoffed at it as she so often did. Taking the name of her sire had insulted a few of the ancients when she had first chosen it but she did not care. He had wanted her to be his so it seemed only fitting that she bare his name.

Cenwulf approached, a man she had heard much of but had not so far had the opportunity to meet. She gauged those who paid respect to her with a slight tilt of her head, her eyes moving from the man who approached to Deville. Barely a smile registered on her features as she gazed once more at Robert Bohun. Tall and strong, old but not as old as some present. In terms of many of these, she knew he was deemed nowt more than a youngling. Vampire politics. she seethed inwardly, foolish foolish self important creatures to think little of him. Deville kept her abreast of much that happened on English soil while she had been away as did Gertrude Swindon, another reasonably old vampire and the reason she had been delayed.

Her long velvet textured gown of deep maroon trailed after her as she inclined her head to Robert and moved gracefully to the seat he had indicated. Stirring to the blood indeed, she mused regarding him more closely. For now she remained silent watching as Deville motioned to his man who approached her. Any other and she might just as well snap his neck off, she was not in the mood for many of these tonight. Patiently she listened and inhaled deeply before glancing up and down the rows of vampires. Her eyes rested momentarily on Gregory Anicia one of the Byzantinne lords and she pierced him with her gaze. Her eyes a vivid black not a flicker of emotion betrayed as she moved along.
"This chair I sit in was set aside for Gertrude Swindon, I had not intended to come at all but in lieu of recent events I found I had no choice. The band of humans who most of you deem unworthy to discuss, the Night Owl?" she paused a moment as anger threatened to rise within her. She rarely demonstrated her viciousness in public and was loathe to do so before so many she hated but her eyes caught Deville's again and with a saddened expression on her countenance she nodded gently to him before speaking again.

"Her home was like a fortress" Fianna's long slender fingers curled on the wooden images etched into the arms of the chair, "many of you know this. Impenetrable is how she often described it but that was not so. Two days hence she was killed while she slept as were many of her house by the Night Owl." Fianna allowed this to sink in, a murmur rose amongst the gathering and suddenly she slammed her fist down. Glaring now in anger about the room.
"IN HER SLEEP!"

Fianna turned her head to look upon Robert Bohun and tilting her beautiful face upwards she announced aloud.
"I pledge the House of Cuan to your crusade".